We are already fighting wars on terror and drugs; why are we starting a war on arts and entertainment?
There seems to be a lot of criticism and negativity being thrown at the electronic dance music scene at the moment, with faceless internet critics providing unrealistic depictions of the scene and bringing up oversimplified issues drawn from media headlines in a bid to get attention.
There is no doubt that electronic music has evolved into one of the most influential portions of the music industry. In only a few years, it has made the jump from clubs, to festivals and to mainstream radio, while developing a tight hold on GEN Y and literally changing the world as we know it. Just like when rock music had its heyday, musical movements tend to be obscured by the next evolution in style. We are no longer just facing a cultural change - this is a generational phenomenon.
Due to its growing popularity among young people, dance music has become an easy target for critics. For people to say dance music causes bad things to happen is a severe injustice and oversimplification of the real problem. Drug abuse and overdosing will not end if raves end, and I’m so sorry to say that people with questionable morals will probably never dissipate either.
At a Keith Urban country concert, hosting 18,000 people, there were 50 people arrested and 22 hospitalized. As a comparison, TomorrowWorld in 2013 only had 17 medical transports and two arrests. I do agree that the electronic music ‘scene’ has its darker sides, however there is no doubt the media often unfairly vilifies dance music.
This is a scene that connects millions of people from all over the world and injects billions of dollars into the global economy. Tomorrowland unites more nations than the Olympics, which is an impressive achievement. Why do we take it upon ourselves to shoot down a scene that truly lives up to its law of creating peace, love, unity, and respect?
While many might beg to differ, I think part of the beauty of the scene is that it is no longer just about listening to music; it involves completely immersing yourself in the experience. It is more about the feelings and emotion than ever before. The dance music scene is created for entertainment and serves as a feeder for passion, happiness and excitement. Millions of dollars, hundreds of hours and incomprehensible amounts of passion and dedication go into creating these experiences that are literally the closest thing to fairy tales that we will ever be able to take part in.
Even in times of war, dance music has the power to draw people together. Two Tomorrowland attendees, one from Palestine and the other from Israel, came together at the festival despite the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, which has claimed the lives of thousands. This photo alone helps illustrate the power of dance music in its simplest form.
Electronic dance music festivals have the ability to create temporary worlds where countries, boundaries, separation or differences cease to exist. No matter the genre, dance music plays on energy and imagination, while embracing both individuality and unity.
Kaskade recently wrote, “This is a conversation that has been going on for decades. I don’t expect it to end here. But know this: as far as a music culture goes, EDM is the one who will accept the kids on the outliers, the ones who get bullied, the ones who feel like they may not quite fit in. This community is exceptional in its ability to bond all types together, and I am not exaggerating when I say it saves lives. Our audience is intelligent and kind, discriminating only in regards to which sound they like best. Our audience is unprecedented in their drive to proactively support each other.”
If you don’t like the festivals, don’t attend. If you don’t like the music, don’t listen. That is the beauty of free choice and the ‘play next song’ selection on iTunes.
The EDM movement has begun making a significant mark on every corner of the globe, and the scene is undeniably the biggest crusade our generation has ever seen. Electronic dance music may come and go, but for now, we own this world of magic and have the ability to move it forward or hinder it.
We have been born into an electronic world. It is a world that revolves around creativity, innovation, and freedom. Due to impressive technological advancements, a new state of music has emerged that is showing no signs of slowing down. Why not make the most of it?
Written by Lauren Mikkor
Cover photo credit: Only The Beat